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Social Media And Our Youth Essay

1029 words - 5 pages

Technology is making an ineffaceable imprint on the minds of our society. In the past decade social media has become a way of life for adults and now for young children as well. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace, Instagram and Flickr are luring in our youth at rapid speeds. Most social media websites make their users confirm that they are at least 13 years old as recommended by the guidelines provided by The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Unfortunately they don’t have many ways to confirm these statements and they rarely enforce any action from age embellishment.
There are so many different types of social networks but they usually serve the same ...view middle of the document...

Children are exposing themselves online via photos, videos and status updates every day. Many networks use GPS-enabled software to broadcast one’s real time location. Although a user may choose to restrict who can view their personal information, a social network can change its privacy policy at any time without the user’s permission. Content that was once restricted now becomes public. Also approved contacts may copy and repost personal information and photographs without the users consent or knowledge, potentially bypassing privacy settings. Social networking sites make no guarantee regarding the security of the information you provide to their websites. There have been many security breaches that resulted in most intimate messages and information being visible to the public eye. The privacy of children is also at risk due to “browser cookies” which are pieces of text stored by a user's web browser. In 2009, AT&T Labs and Worcester Polytechnic Institute found that the distinctive identifying code given to users by social networks can be corresponded with behavior tracked by browser cookies. In essence, this means that the information collected can be used to build a profile of a user’s time on the internet, including linking browsing habits to one’s true identity. This information can be made available to advertisers, third party software developers, identity thieves and other online predators.
Social media is also abundant with content inappropriate for young minds. For example Facebook allows users to have access to many games and internet applications. Many of these games and applications are rated for mature audiences such as The Sims. Even games seemingly innocent like Family Feud are inappropriate for most of the youths who have accounts with this networking site. Social media is also well known for photos with offensive language, strong sexually explicit content and mild nudity. Facebook users are allowed to create pages promoting the most disturbing messages, such as comparing a high school teacher to Aunt Jemima to a...

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